Category Archives: Editorial Practice Year 1

ISHE Photoshop

In this ISHE lecture we learned the basic tools we require to know in order to use Photoshop at a beginner/intermediate level. Aside from basic programs such as Paint and Paintbrush on a mac, I have never used such a professional Photoshop software program before. Adobe Photoshop is an editing program developed and published by Adobe Systems. It is an advanced software system that is great for editing pictures. You can remove imperfection from your photos and edit particular areas. The main tools we learned in our two workshop sessions were the following icons:

Crop tool: you can select an area on your image to change the size of it. When cropping, it is important to consider the physical area as well as the subject matter.

Move tool: this tool looks like a cursor and is simply used to move things around. It is straight forward, but  important to know as it enables one to move layers of an image around.

Magic wand tool: this is a more advanced tool. It is used to select any colour range from your picture, and edit an unwanted spot/area on your picture.

Healing brush tool: this, similar to the magic wand tool, is quite useful. You can edit specs that are apparent on your picture by choosing your brush size and select an area of your image. Essentially, you ‘paste’ the selected colour onto the spec that you want to remove.

A screenshot of the main tools used in Adobe Photoshop

Clone stamp tool: this is similar to the healing brush tool (see above): it is used to remove or blur out little blemishes. However, when editing large areas it can be very noticeable.

Blur tool: with this one can blur certain areas on an image. This is particularly useful if you want to focus on a specific part/area of your image (I have used this in the fruit image that I will post below).

Type tool: this tool enables you to write text on your image.

Hand tool: use this tool to navigate around your image. For example when the size is too big, you can click and select the hand tool to navigate. A useful shortcut to get this tool at all times: simply hold the spacebar and start clicking your way around the image.

Zoom tools: lastly you have got another straight forward tool, which is used to zoom in and out of your image. Useful shortcut: hold spacebar and dash button for zooming out and ‘plus’ button to zoom out.

In addition, there are many filters you can use on Photoshop. A filter is an effect that can be used on images. This is good to know as it can change the atmosphere/mood your image is depicting very easily. If you select the ‘sharpen/unsharpen’ effect in the tab ‘filters’, you can change from a very dark (suggesting sadness or depression) to a brighter picture (suggesting happiness).

Furthermore, I learned where to save my edited picture to have, and keep, all layers and edits in one folder. Firstly, you save your image in the ‘automatic default for internet’ format: 800×600, as a JPG. (other ‘screen resolutions’, also known as pixels, can be: PPL (pixels per inch), 72 PPI (format for the internet), 300 PPI (format for magazine print) and lastly 200 PPI (format for newspaper print, e.g. Arts London News). Afterwards, you access your downloads to put it into your chosen folder. Reopen the picture and re-save it for your purpose.

In this picture I have used the ‘blur tool’ to blur out some parts of the picture. I have slightly blurred the background as I was experimenting with this tool to see how it would work. For the purpose of this exercise, I tried to focus on the strawberries and very lightly blur our the background. I did not wish to overdo or exaggerate the effect as I wanted it to be subtle and not obviously noticeable.

It was an extremely useful two sessions of Adobe Photoshop workshops. Although it taught you just the basics, knowing these have motivated me to learn more tools to become a more advanced user of the software. The workshops gave me a basic insight as to what sorts of things a professional Photoshop program can perform. In addition, it has raised my awareness regarding photoshopped pictures and to double check if a picture is real, or indeed edited. Perhaps what I could have improved on was to ask about the more advanced tools and how to use them. However, I think for those two sessions we have learned a lot and considered to teach myself the rest.